I have a special relationship with these mountains. My mountains. Or, at least that’s what I call them. I know they are not really my mountains. In fact, they are mostly occupied by Forest Service land so they belong to everyone, including me. I guess they are my mountains, after all. No matter what kind of trouble I am going through, one glimpse of my mountains and I am relieved of the all my burdens. These mountains have watched me through different stages of my life. They were there before I was born and they will be there long after I am gone. They offer stability in and unstable world. It is comforting to know that, in a world of constant change, something stays the same. The mountains are always there.
On the other hand, if you know a little about how the mountains were created, you know that they have not always existed in the same way. Originally, these peaks were part of one volcano and one day, in one cataclysmic event, the volcano blew its top off leaving the three peaks which are now covered in lava rock. If you do any hiking on these peaks, you can’t help but notice the distinctive porous rock with a reddish hue. These mountains that are my fortress actually have a very violent history of change. One day, things changed then they stayed mostly the same for thousands of years. Isn’t it ironic how one day can change everything? One day you are a perfectly healthy volcano wreaking havoc on the world around you, then one big eruption and you become a beacon of peace and stability for years to come.
As a desert rat, these mountains witnessed my first snow experience when I was five years old and my mom put zip lock baggies around my sneakers to play in the snow. They watched as I went to college and courted boyfriends who took me on my first hikes on their peaks. I went to them after a divorce seeking clarity and direction in life and now, I take my family camping in their woods. These mountains always seem to be there for me in good times and bad. They may have an ancient history of change, but they have a much longer life span than I do and for me, they are my rock. They are a place of peace and serenity, silence and tranquility in my chaotic life.